Scotland's First Bairns Hoose
Children who experience abuse and violence are being offered all the support they need under one roof, thanks to players of People's Postcode Lottery.
Scotland's first Bairns Hoose brings together help in one place, in a child-friendly alternative to courts, social work offices and police stations.
Led by Children 1st, Scotland's national children's charity, the Bairns Hoose has been designed to be safe and welcoming so that children feel at ease as they give evidence, receive medical care, take part in child protection processes and get support to recover from their experiences.
Now open in the west of Scotland, it has been developed in partnership with Victim Support Scotland, the University of Edinburgh, Children England, and local agencies in North Strathclyde.
The Bairns Hoose is based on an internationally renowned approach developed in Iceland, called Barnahus. Up to 280 children, young people and members of their family will receive support each year.
Jasmin, now aged 18, said, "When I went to court, I had to sit in an empty box room with no windows, no sweets or anything and a few broken toys. I was 9 years old. If you're coming from dealing with something terrible you don't want to come to somewhere broken when you already feel broken. It's good to know kids can come to the Bairns Hoose and it's a safe place."
Mary Glasgow, Chief Executive of Children 1st, said, "It feels like an incredible achievement to be opening Scotland's first Bairns Hoose. It will transform the way that children experience the child protection and justice process, from one that can cause them more trauma and harm to one that will offer them hope, healing and recovery.
"The Children 1st Bairns Hoose will be life-changing for many children and young people, thanks to the phenomenal support of players of People's Postcode Lottery. A huge thank you to them, and to all our local, national and international partners whose vision and commitment have transformed the way that children and young people in North Strathclyde are able to get support, when the worst things imaginable happen to them.
"Most importantly, thank you to the children and young people who have so bravely spoken up, over so many years, about how harmful our current systems of protection, care and justice can be. Their voices and views have shaped every part of the development of the Children 1st Bairns Hoose. We will continue to make sure children's rights and needs are at the centre, as we work for every child in Scotland to have access to a Bairns Hoose."
Visit the Children 1st Bairns Hoose website (opens in a new tab) to find out more.
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Bairns Hoose Video